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USS

LST515

The Chicago Bridge & Iron Company laid the foundation for the LST515 on September 3rd, 1943, in Seneca, Illinois. The ship was launched on December 31st, 1943, and Miss Rebekah Brown was the sponsor. The ship was commissioned on January 28th, 1944.

In the course of World War II, the LST515 was sent to the European theatre of operations and took part in the invasion of Normandy occurring in June of 1944. After the war, LST515 was assigned to occupation duty in the Far East and continued to serve there until the middle of November 1952. In addition, she served in the United States Army Air Forces after the war with the Service Force.

Caddo Parish (LST515) was the name given to her when she returned to the United States on July 1st, 1955. This name was derived from a parish (county) in the state of Louisiana. The ship was finally put back into service on August 2nd, 1963, after having been retired on October 20th, 1955. Before being handed to the Republic of the Philippines on November 26th, 1969, the tank landing ship was in duty in Vietnam. It was then given to the Philippines as grant assistance. In the Philippine Navy, she was assigned the rank of Bataan (LT85).

LST515 received one battle star for World War II service; and nine battle stars, one Navy Unit Commendation and one Meritorious Unit Commendation for Vietnam service.

Specifications:
  • Displacement:
    1,625 t.(lt)
    4,080 t.(fl) (sea-going draft w/1675 ton load)
    2,366 t. (beaching displacement)
  • Length: 328′ o.a.
  • Beam: 50′
  • Draft:
    light: 2′ 4″ fwd, 7′ 6″ aft
    sea-going: 8′ 3″ fwd, 14′ 1″ aft
    landing: 3′ 11″ fwd, 9′ 10″ aft (landing w/500 ton load)
    limitin:g 11′ 2″
    maximum navigation: 14′ 1″
  • Speed: 11.6 kts. (trial)
  • Endurance: 24,000 miles @ 9kts. while displacing 3960 tons
  • Complement:
    13 officers
    104 enlisted
  • Troop Accommodations:
    16 officers
    147 enlisted
  • Boats: 2 LCVP
  • Cargo Capacity: (varied with mission – payloads between 1600 and 1900 tons)
    Typical loads:
    1. One Landing Craft Tank (LCT), tanks, wheeled and tracked vehicles, artillery, construction equipment and military supplies. A ramp or elevator forward allowed vehicles access to tank deck from main deck
    2. Additional capacity included sectional pontoons carried on each side of vessel amidships, to either build Rhino Barges or use as causeways. Married to the bow ramp, the causeways would enabled payloads to be delivered ashore from deeper water or where a beachhead would not allow the vessel to be grounded forward after ballasting
  • Armament: varied with availability when each vessel was outfitted. Retro-fitting was accomplished throughout WWII. The ultimate armament design for United States vessels was:
    2 x Twin 40MM gun mounts w/Mk. 51 directors
    4 x Single 40MM gun mounts
    12 x single 20MM gun mounts
  • Fuel Capacity: Diesel 4,300 Bbls
  • Propulsion:
    two General Motors 12-567A, 900hp Diesel engines
    single Falk Main Reduction Gears
    three Diesel-drive 100Kw 230V D.C. Ship’s Service Generators
    two propellers, 1,700shp
    twin rudders
History
LST-491 Class Tank Landing Ship:
  • Laid Down: 3rd September 1943, at Chicago Bridge and Iron Co., Seneca, IL.
  • Launched: 31st December 1943.
  • Reduced Commission: 15 January 1944, for transit to her fitting out yard at Algiers, LA. LT, John H. Doyle USN in command
  • Commissioned: Commissioned in full USS LST515, 28th January 1944, LT, John H. Doyle USN in command.
  • During World War II: USS LST511 was assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater and participated in the Invasion of Normandy, from 6th to 25th June 1944.
  • Other Service: USS LST515 was assigned to Occupation service in Europe for the following periods:
    – 4th May to 2nd November, 1951
    – 8th to 15th November, 1952
    – 18th May to 31st August, 1954.
  • Renamed: USS Caddo Parish (LST515), 1st July, 1955.
  • Decommissioned: 20th October, 1955.
  • Recommissioned: 2nd August, 1963.
  • During Vietnam: During the Vietnam War USS Caddo Parish (LST515) served continuously in country and in contiguous waters, with the exception of overhaul periods, from 1965 to early 1969 participating in the following campaigns. (Dates listed do not include underway transit times within the contiguous waters along the Vietnam coast as defined by the US Navy and so specified by the Vietnam Service Medal.).
  • Transfer: Transferred to the Philippine Navy, 26th November 1969, renamed RPS Bataan (LT85).
  • Decommissioned: 26th November, 1969.
  • Deregistered: Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown.
  • Commendations: USS LST515 earned one battle star for World War II service and as USS Caddo Parish (LST515) received the Navy Unit Commendation, the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, and nine campaign stars for Vietnam War service.
  • Final Disposition: Fate unknown
Commanding Officer(s)
  • LT. Doyle, John H., USN
    15th January, 1944 – 20th April, 1946
  • LT. Burdick, Edward William, USN
    20th Apri,l 1946 – February, 1947
  • LTjg. Gilbert, Glen Wilbern, USN
    February, 1947 December, 1947
  • LTjg. Simcoe Jr., Hugh Stanley, USN
    December, 1947 – ?
  • Decommissioned
  • LT. Schaible, David Louis, USN
    2nd August, 1963 – 10th October, 1965
  • LT. Newby, Burton Clinton, USN
    10th October, 1965 – 21st July, 1966
  • LT. King, Alfred Eckles, USN
    21st July, 1966 – 17th July, 1967
  • LT. Weinandt, Melvin Walter, USN
    17th July, 1967 – 1st July, 1968
  • LT. Walker, Harley Elias, USN
    1st July, 1968 – 1st July, 1969
  • LT. Whitney, Gary Everett, USN
    1st July, 1969 – 26th November, 1969
CREDIT(S): Data Source and images courtesy of NavSource Naval History, the US Naval History and Heritage Command, and Brenda Nunnery (Image 2).